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memory cells

[memory cell]

Memory cells are specialized T-cells or B-cells that are generated in the course of a primary immune response to a foreign antigen and allow rapid immunological responses after reexposure of an organism to the same or a structurally related antigen (Rajewsky, 1996; Zinkernagel, 2000; Crotty and Ahmed, 2004; Gourley et al, 2004; McHeyzer-Williams and McHeyzer-Williams, 2005). Memory cells also play a key role in controlling persistent infections, and help to protect immunologically immature fetuses and neonates by passive transfer of maternal antibody. Immune memory functions have been shown to become less efficient as a result of aging (Haynes, 2005). For a subset of NK-cells with features of memory cells see: Memory NK-cells.

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